Modding: What you need to know
Modding is a unique feature of Star Wars: The Old Republic, it is an interesting and very beneficial aspect of the game. It allows players an additional layer of gear advancement. Which is great for credit making, as they can be crafted.
What is Modding?
You may or may not be familiar with gemming from World of Warcraft, which essential is: A piece of armor, that can contain anywhere from 1-3 slots to put items called gems in them. These gems add stats of your choosing to the item, so you can add what you need if the item doesn't have enough of it. It is a great system. However, Bioware took this idea and extended upon it, they pretty changed it so that you can completely re-do all the stats on an item. There are currently 6 types of mods, which include, Barrels, Hilts, Armorings, Color Crystals, Modifications, Enhancements.
The Six Types of Mods
Armoring, Barrels and Hilts:
These are the most important mod to upgrade , these control the armor/damage value of the item. As well as adding Endurance and the class stat. Strength for Knights and Warriors, Aim for Troopers and Bounty Hunters, Cunning for Smugglers and Agents, and Willpower for Consulars and Inquisitors. Barrels and Hilts are very closely related to Armoring. Armoring goes only in gear (Head, Chest, Waist, Legs, Wrist, Boots, Hands), Barrels only go in ranged weapons (Blaster Pistols, Blaster Rifles, Assault Cannons, Sniper Rifles), and Hilts only go in melee weapons (Vibrosword, Training Saber, Lightsaber, Polesaber, Techblade, Techstaff, Electrostaff.)
These are your core mod, probably secondly most important. These have class stats, endurance, and at high levels, low amounts of secondary stats. These are rather easy to acquire as many quests give them as rewards.
These are third on priority, they give high endurance, and also high secondary stats, but that's all. High levels ones give two secondary stats.
These are lowest on upgrade priority, they are pretty much a visual enhancemet for lightsabers, and blaster bolts. They do give endurance or a secondary stats, so if you are going to be maxing your character you will keep these up to date.
Worth Mentioning: Augments are additional enhancements that can only be added on crit crafted items, Slicers can make these, but the availability of gear that can take them is rather small, but be on the lookout. They add secondary stats.
The Modding Window
You can access by Ctrl+Right Click a moddable item, you can tell because it should have an orange outline..
As you can see, each type of mod has its own respective slot within the window.
Adding/Removing/Replace Mods: To add a mod simply click it in your inventory with the window open, however this will destroy the current mod of that slot in the item, you can avoid this by right clicking the mod that you wish to remove beforehand, it does cost credits however. You can visit a workbench, and it will sort all your modded gear for you, it's a little easier than scrambling around your inventory. They can be found within the supplies section of the fleet and on various planets.
Where do I find mods?
Most mods can be found at a mod vendor in the main towns of planets, they will sell Premium quality mods for credits, however i recommend buying the Protoype quality mods from commendation vendors, its 11 (7 for Armoring/barrel/hilt, 2 for Mod. 2 for Enh) instead of the cost of credits, to upgrade your item in all slots, and is cheaper than the 12-14 that most commendation vendors sell their moddable gear for. Cybertechs (Mods and Enhancements), Artifices (Hilts and color crystals), and Armstech (Barrels) all craft the mods shown in the parenthesis, so check the Galactic Trade Network if you need an upgrade. There are Legendary quality mods in game as well, the only ones I've seen so far have been world drops, But Gaiwyn told me that when you reverse engineer Modifacations and Enhancements as a Cybertech, you can learn Legendary quality mods from Protypes.
Closing Words of Advice
I strongly suggest that you try using moddable gear, i love it, and almost all my gear is modded. I do recommend that you save your mods for at least 5 levels, in case something that you can use for your companion comes along, if they use the appropriate stats, and one last thing that people might not know. You can buy a piece of gear intended for another class with the same Armor level (Light, Medium, Heavy) and stick your useful mods in it, it can give your character a unique look. I hope that this guide has cleared up some confusion people may have been having with this aspect of the game.
---------- Post added 2012-01-05 at 09:29 PM ----------
Reserved for expansion if needed
---------- Post added 2012-01-05 at 09:31 PM ----------
Reserved for expansion
ADDED: Pictures for each mod, corrected errors.